In what has been a disappointing season for Barcelona, Lionel Messi has once again been a shining light.
With 30 goals in LaLiga Santander, he will once again win the Pichichi Trophy, which will be the eighth of his career and his fifth in succession.
The previous seven came in 2009/10 (34 goals), 2011/12 (50), 2012/13 (46), 2016/17 (37), 2017/18 (34), 2018/19 (36), 2019/20 (25) and 2020/21 (30), but this one is more significant than any other.
Messi has now finished as top goalscorer the most times and has achieved the greatest consecutive streak of top goalscorer triumphs of anyone in Europe’s top leagues.
In LaLiga Santander, Telmo Zarra is the closest challenger to his overall Pichichi Trophy haul with six. Both Hugo Sanchez and Alfredo Di Stefano won five throughout their respective careers, and the greatest consecutive streak of each was four seasons.
In Germany, Gerd Muller finished as top goalscorer in the Bundesliga in seven campaigns. In Italy, Gunnar Nordahl won five for AC Milan during the 1950s.
In France, Jean-Pierre Papin achieved this feat five times for Marseille, four of which came in competitive seasons. Arsenal great Thierry Henry was the top goalscorer in the Premier League four times and Ruud Geels finished top goalscorer five times during his time at Ajax and Sparta Rotterdam.
Now, Messi faces a decisive summer ahead of the end of his contract on June 30. Will he seek pastures new or will he choose to stay at Barcelona and keep making history?